ARTICLE Persephone Nicholas IMAGES Peter Willett Associates, Scott Espie
 

Why is cladding my home important?

There are many advantages to cladding a property. These include waterproofing and allowing the escape of moisture as well as creating an attractive and more durable home exterior. Other benefits include sound and thermal insulation and increasing a building’s resistance to fire.

Renovated outdoor Sydney home with indoor-outdoor floor and outdoor room.

What are the cladding options?

There’s a huge variety of cladding available these days, including timber weatherboards, reconstituted timber, plywood sheeting, brick, fibre cement, steel, aluminium, stone and vinyl. All have advantages and disadvantages and we recommend investing some time exploring which products will suit your needs best.

Options include:

  • Timber weatherboards - Versatile and attractive, but can be a higher maintenance option.
  • Reconstituted timber - If made from forestry waste this is one of the most sustainable types of cladding. It is generally durable, waterproof, fire resistant and widely available.
  • Plywood sheeting - Reasonably durable and affordable too, plywood sheeting can offer excellent waterproofing, depending on its finish and joint detailing.
  • Brick - A popular choice that is durable and low maintenance if left unpainted.
  • Fibre cement - A typically low maintenance option suitable for areas prone to seismic or geotechnical movement. Fast and easy to install, but can have a prefab feel if not used carefully.
  • Steel - Durable, low maintenance, fire resistant and waterproof, providing it’s correctly installed to avoid scratches or other damage that can lead to premature corrosion.
  • Aluminium - Has all the benefits of steel but is even more durable due to its resistance to corrosion.
  • Stone - Hardwearing, fire resistant and low maintenance, stone cladding may be natural or manufactured and is a cost effective way to achieve a luxe stone-built look.
  • Vinyl - Generally watertight, low maintenance and budget-friendly. Not a sustainable choice and fire risk is also an issue. Poor quality vinyl cladding may also warp or discolour in particular weather conditions.

Brick cladding on bungalow home

How do I go about choosing the best cladding for my home?

Refresh Renovations recommends ensuring your cladding will provide the protection and performance you’re looking for, complement your home’s heritage and/or architectural style and, of course, fit within your budget.

Home designer Katrina Malyn says it’s also important to consider the look you’re after. “To select which cladding will suit you best, try to decide what effect you want to create – sleek and modern, relaxed and casual, vacation feel...”

What is the most sustainable cladding option?

There are a number of factors to be considered. For example, what the cladding is made from and how it’s manufactured, how long it will last and whether or not it can be recycled after use.

For example, although steel and aluminium are not renewable resources, both are highly reusable and 100% recyclable. Steel cladding systems often include up to 40% of recycled content.

Timber is often considered a sustainable choice, but some types rate higher than others. Golden Cypress for example, salvages trees that would otherwise be burnt or go to landfill and processes them into sustainable timber products including cladding.

If you’re considering stone cladding, try to source it locally rather than choosing an imported product.

It’s also worth finding out about new products made from environmentally preferred waste materials, such as straw or paper, coming onto the market. For more information, visit Ecospecifier.

Timber weatherboard cladding on Australian home

What is the most durable cladding option?

While most cladding systems are designed to be highly durable, it’s important to ensure you choose a good quality product and install it correctly, with the minimum of joins and apertures.

Timber weatherboard is very popular but is probably the least durable option although this may vary depending on the type of wood used. Timber is generally graded from one to four for durability, with grade one being the most durable choice for external cladding – so it pays to do your research before committing.

What is the best cladding choice for coastal properties?

Most modern cladding is suitable for beachside properties provided it is properly fixed, sealed and joined since poor quality installation can increase the risk of corrosion.

Refresh Renovations recommends choosing high quality, durable cladding that complements the style of the property and working with a professional installer to ensure the cladding isn’t compromised during the build.

How much does cladding cost?

The cost of cladding a home depends on several factors including the type and quantity of cladding required, the amount of preparation needed and the location plus ease of access to the property.

For a high-end look on a lower budget, consider cladding a feature wall or just the most visible areas of a home in a premium product, such as stone cladding, and use a complementary, but more cost effective option in other areas.

Renovated kitchen with exposed brick wall feature

Will re-cladding add value to my property?

A well-maintained exterior is important for any home, but if you’re looking to sell it’s even more critical. An appropriately clad and cared for home helps create the impression that the whole property has been well maintained, making your property more appealing and therefore more valuable.

What are the big trends in cladding at the moment?

Michael Alderman of Cladding Roofing Victoria says he sees two significant trends in cladding this year.

“Installing cladding, such as Alucobond [aluminium composite] in internal home renovations, for example for feature walls. Bright bold colours for both internal and external projects are another key trend,” he says.

Do I need a Building Consent to re-clad my home?

Regulations and requirements can vary from place to place so it’s important to check with your local council to ensure you comply with what’s required in your area.

You might want to find out How much does basic re-cladding cost?
 

Get in touch if you're thinking about re-cladding your home

If you would like to discuss re-cladding options and ideas for your home renovation project, please use the enquiry form alongside to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.

*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

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